3150. “Never, No Never, No Never”

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No. 3150-55:301. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, March 16, 1873, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Published On Thursday, June 24, 1909.

Let your conduct be without covetousness: and be content with such things as you have. For he has said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” So that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.” {Heb 13:5,6}

For other sermons on this text:

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 477, “Never! Never! Never! Never! Never!” 468}

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1449, “Vile Weed and a Fair Flower, A” 1440}

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1880, “Lesson and a Fortune for Christian Men of Business, A” 1881}

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3150, “Never, No Never, No Never” 3151}

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3387, “New Year’s Blessing, A” 3389}

   Exposition on Heb 13:1-21 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3150, “Never, No Never, No Never” 3151 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Heb 13 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No.2358, “Unchangeable Christ, The” 2359 @@ "Exposition"}

   {See Spurgeon_SermonTexts "Heb 13:6"}

1. When the Lord foretold, through the mouth of his servant the prophet Isaiah, that he would “make for all people a feast of rich food, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow,” surely he must have had in his mind such precious truths as this one which we have in our text, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” This is the very essence of consolation, I might truly say that it is the quintessence of delight. Here is solid spiritual food condensed into a very small space. Take these eight words, and extract the marrow from them, or treat them as a honeycomb, and get the sweetness out of them into your soul, and it will be full of content, indeed, more, it will be overflowing with sacred delight: “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

2. I. With such a text before us, we need no further preface, so we will at once begin our meditation on the text; and, first, I will ask you to VIEW THESE WORDS AS A QUOTATION.

3. You observe that the apostle writes, “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you,’” from which it plainly appears that Paul was quoting from Holy Writ, and this should teach us how necessary it is for us also to quote Scripture whenever we can. The Holy Spirit abounds in gracious thoughts and in fitting language in which to express those thoughts, so he has no need to make extracts from what he has previously said; yet he pleases to do so. Instead of giving us a new promise, he gives us here an old one over again, as if to remind us that there are no better things in the world than the words of God himself, and that the very noblest expressions are those that have been already used.

4. Besides, the Holy Spirit puts honour here on the Old Testament by quoting from it for the consolation of New Testament believers. There are some people who seem to think more of the New Testament than they do of the Old Testament. I have met Christians in Germany with whom it has been quite a superstition that the evangelists were superior to the apostles, and that the apostles were superior to the prophets; but I trust that such notions as those will never spread among us. We see here that, when an apostle writes as an inspired man, he quotes from the Pentateuch, he quotes from the Chronicles, and he quotes from the prophecy of Isaiah; so that we are to honour the Old Testament, and not to look at it as a secondary book compared with the New Testament, but to reverence the divine teaching in both portions of the inspired Word.

5. In addition to that, the Holy Spirit tells Paul to apply this Old Testament promise to us, to show us that the words spoken to saints in the ancient times were spoken also to us; so that, if the Lord gave a promise to Jacob, it was not meant to be restricted to Jacob, but to belong to all those who, like Jacob, can wrestle in prayer; and that, if God spoke, as he did, a promise to Joshua, it was not intended to be for Joshua only, but for all who were in similar circumstances to his. All scriptural promises have a message for all believers; and if you believe in Jesus, what God has said to other believers of old he says to you today.

6. I think we may learn much from the fact that this promise is a quotation from the Old Testament. Where did Paul find it? It is not very easy to say, because it occurs in various places, and the apostle has not quoted it literally; he has given the sense rather than the exact words of the quotation. He may have quoted the Septuagint version rather than the Hebrew, for no doubt he was familiar with both. There is not any one text in the Old Testament of which you could positively say that it is the one he intended, but there are several passages, any one of which you might say, “The words are almost here, and the spirit and meaning of the passage are entirely here.”

7. One of the first passages which Paul may be supposed to have quoted is Ge 28:15. The fugitive Jacob lies asleep, with a stone for his pillow. In his dream, he sees a ladder reaching from earth to heaven; at the top of it stands the Almighty, who makes a covenant with him, and among the other covenant promises is this, “Behold, I am with you, and will keep you in all places wherever you go, and will bring you again into this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.” Here you get the words, “I will not leave you.” Does not that passage, in its proper context, suggest that the promise is very applicable to young people starting out in life? Jacob was leaving his father’s house, under very unfavourable circumstances, and he was going to a distant country, where he had relatives, but strangers might have been kinder to him than Laban was, for he got all he could out of him, and gave him as little in return as he could. So Jacob, starting out for Padanaram, receives this promise from God, “I will not leave you.” I can conceive of that promise coming to some young friend here. You have committed yourself to God’s keeping, you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, and now you are about to start on a new career. Some measure of trembling comes over you, and you have been breathing this prayer to God, “Oh Lord, lead me in the way in which you would have me to go, guide me in all my untrodden way.” It is just possible that you are going to a distant land, and you are a lover of your home, as Jacob was, and you feel some natural anxiety concerning the change that you are about to make. Here comes in the promise that is just suited to your case, “I will not leave you.” Jacob proved the truth of that promise. Although he had many trials, most of which were of his own making, yet he was never deserted by his God. In his old age, he said, “All these things are against me,” but he was not speaking the truth when he said that, for even then everything was working for his good; and, notwithstanding his troubles, he died a blessed old man, who was able to give blessings to others as well as to enjoy them himself. So, my dear young friend, take this text as the Lord’s promise to you for many years to come, “I will not leave you, until I have done what I have spoken to you.”

8. There is a second passage which is more nearly to the point, from which the apostle probably did quote; that is De 31:6-8. Moses first speaks to the children of Israel, and he says to them, “Be strong and of a good courage: do not fear, nor be afraid of them: (that is, of the Canaanites) for the Lord your God, it is he who goes with you; he will not fail you, nor forsake you.” Then turning to Joshua, Moses says, “The Lord, it is he who goes before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you, neither forsake you: do not fear, neither be dismayed.” In Jos 1:5, we find that the Lord repeated the promise to Joshua, “I will not fail you, nor forsake you.” In the version which Paul may have read, the words here may have been identical with those he uses in writing to the Hebrews. What do we learn from the context of this text? God was speaking here to those who were about to lose their leader, and who would need this assurance. Moses was about to die. He had been the mainstay of the children of Israel, and they had always looked up to him as their leader. Under God, Moses was the father of that nation, and he carried them like children in his bosom. If they needed water, it was he who struck the rock to make the stream gush out; if they needed to have their enemies destroyed, it was he whose uplifted hands brought them the victory. Now Moses was about to go up to the top of Nebo, and to die there, and the people greatly trembled at the prospect of losing him; but the Lord gave them this promise to console them, “I will not fail you, nor forsake you.” Moses dies, but the God of Moses does not die. The strong man, whose eye had not become dim, and whose natural force had not abated, must look from the mountain top on the good land beyond the Jordan, and then his God must take away his soul as with a kiss; yet God would not be gone. He is the dwelling-place of his people in all generations. You see then, dear friend, what the bearing of the text on your experience is. You have lost, or are about to lose, the mainstay of your house. Your father is failing in health, and you cannot shake off from your mind the apprehension that, in a few more days, you may have to pay a visit to the grave. One in whom you have rightly reposed much confidence, and in whose presence you have felt that all was well, is soon to be taken away from you; but do not be distressed as though God himself were about to die, for Jehovah lives for ever, and he says to you, “I will not fail you, nor forsake you.” You who are already, or who soon will be, a widow, dry your eyes with this blessed handkerchief. You who are, or soon will be, a fatherless child, be of good comfort, for your Father in heaven will not leave you, nor forsake you. Perhaps I am addressing members of a bereaved church. You have lost a man of God, who went in and out among you as Moses did among the children of Israel in the wilderness, and you are asking, “Where is his successor to come from?” Perhaps there is a Joshua within sight, but you are half afraid concerning whether he will have the power needed to carry on the great work. Trust that the God who was with Moses will be with Joshua also, and take this promise home to your own heart, and say to each of your fellow members in the sorrowing church that the Lord has said, “I will not fail you, nor forsake you.”

9. There is another passage from which Paul may have quoted, that is 1Ch 28:20, where David says to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it: (that is, build the temple:) do not fear, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with you; he will not fail you, nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.” I scarcely need indicate that the promise is applicable to any who are about to undertake some great enterprise for God’s glory. You do not have to build a physical temple, but you have perhaps to build up a spiritual church, or to evangelize a wide district, or to gather together a class of young people, and you feel half afraid that you are unequal to the task; but will not this promise be like a belt around your loins? Will it not strengthen you to do exploits when the Lord says, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you?” Go in this might of yours, oh you who are full of weakness and trembling; go, for God tells you to go, and henceforth do not let your heart ever fear again!

10. One other passage contains part of our text in another form; it is that well-known one in Isa 41:10: “Do not fear; for I am with you: do not be dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.” There the promise is enlarged, but its sense is the same; it is a promise of the divine presence and of the divine help to the Lord’s tried and afflicted people.

11. II. Now we will change the run of our thought, and VIEW THESE WORDS AS AN ADAGE OR HOUSEHOLD WORD FROM GOD.

12. I think this must have been a kind of proverb or common saying among the early Christians, “The Lord has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you’”; and that it was one of the things that they constantly said to each other. I wish that we had more such holy proverbs current among us nowadays,—that our common sayings were more worth saying than they often are, and that our proverbial philosophy were more truly Christian philosophy.

13. This saying, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you,” is particularly a saying of God. Paul puts a “Thus says the Lord” to this saying, “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’” To my mind, it invests these words with special power to my soul when I remember that it is God who speaks to me, and to each of my fellow believers, and says, “I—I say this, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” As I repeat these words, they may not seem to you to have much power in them, but if the Holy Spirit will impress these simple syllables on your heart, they will come to you full of the music of heaven, and you will realize that it is God who says, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

14. Further, these words are remarkably emphatic in the original. You probably have heard that, in the Greek, there are no less than five negatives; we cannot translate them very well into English except in such language as that of the verse we were singing just now,—

   The soul that on Jesus hath lean’d for repose,

   I will not, I will not desert to his foes;

   That soul, though all hell should endeavour to shake,

   I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

In our English language, two negatives would destroy each other, but it is not so in the Greek language; and the heaping up, as it were, of these denials on God’s part of all thought of ever forsaking his people ought to be sufficient to satisfy even the most doubtful among us. If God has said, “I will not, not, NOT, no never forsake my people,” we must believe him, and we must chase away all thought of the possibility of the Lord’s forsaking his servants, or leaving them to perish.

15. These words also derive much of their preciousness as a Christian proverb from the fact that they relate to God himself and his people. They are God’s own words, and they speak concerning himself: “I will not leave you.” This is not merely a promise of deliverance out of trouble, or of the presence of angels to bear us up in their hands, lest we dash our feet against a stone. God is not promising us here any temporal mercies, nor indeed any spiritual mercies by themselves; but he is speaking concerning himself, who is the substance of all his own promises, but infinitely greater than the promises, and he says, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

16. And you will observe that this promise ensures to us God’s presence and God’s help: “I will never leave you,”—that is, “I will always be with you”;—“nor forsake you.” The force of that promise is, “Being with you, I will never let you work alone, I will help you. I will not desert you concerning my presence, and I will not desert you concerning my help. I will be with you, and I will help you in all that you have to do.” This is a double promise, and it is doubly sweet.

17. Besides that, this promise wards off from us the most terrible calamity that could possibly occur to us. It may help to make this promise increasingly precious to us if we think for a minute what would become of us if God did leave us or forsake us. Then indeed might the heavens be hung with blackness, and the light of the sun be put out for ever if God should leave us. The straight road to hell would be open before us, and we should soon be going there if we were forsaken by God. It would have been far better never to have been born, or never to have known the way of life at all than, after all, to be deserted by God, and be left to perish. Thank God, that can never be the portion of anyone who has truly trusted in him.

18. Remember also that, if he had not been God, he would have forsaken us long ago. Our patience with our fellow creatures holds out only for a very little while; but it is because God is God, and therefore does not change, that we are not consumed. Have you not done a thousand times enough to have made him forsake you if he were like the sons of men? I sorrowfully confess that I know I have; and if he could turn from his eternal purpose, and if his everlasting love could change, then surely he would long ago have cast my poor soul far away from his presence, to receive its well-deserved punishment. Is it not a blessed thing to think that the very thing that is most to be feared by any man can never happen to a believer, for God has said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”? You well deserve to be forsaken by God, but he will never leave you. He will deal with you in the way of grace, and not of justice. If he left you, you would utterly perish; but he will not and cannot do so; you are too dear to him for his heart ever to turn away from you.

19. And while this promise averts from us the worst ill, it secures the richest possible blessing for us. To have God with us,—is there anything beneath the sky, is there anything above the sky that is a better blessing than that? To be with God, and to have God with us, is the very heaven of heavens; and he who has this blessing here has a veritable heaven on earth. No other blessings can ever be compared with this one. No mirth of those who make merry in the dance, or of those who shout by reason of wine can ever be compared to the holy excitement and enthusiasm of a soul that is in the presence of God, and knows that it is there. To be helped by God, which is the second part of the promise, is bliss indeed. What better help than that does anyone need? We are glad to be helped by our fellow Christians who have the ability to assist us; but to be helped by God is to have the treasurer of heaven and the great depths of divine omnipotence to draw on. Whatever it is that we really need we already have if God is with us, for “no good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” The best of blessings are secured to the man to whom God has said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

20. Then, beloved friends, this is a promise that only God could give. The husband whispers in the ear of his wife, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”; but he forgets the hour of death when he must go from all below. The mother, as she presses her child to her bosom, says, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”; but she does not know how soon that little child may be an orphan to need another’s care. Friend says to friend, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you,” forgetting how changeable human friendships are, for many are the hearts that have been torn asunder by vows, honestly whispered at the time, which have been forgotten through the lapse of years, or have been treacherously broken. “I will never leave you, nor forsake you,” is not a promise for mortal lips to utter. Transient beings like ourselves must not venture to say, “I will never do this or that”; for, alas! we do not know what we may do, or may not do! Even though we think we shall never prove to be traitors, yet we may prove to be traitors; or if not traitors, our power may fail, so that we shall be unable to do what we have promised. But when Jehovah says, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you,” it is a divine promise, and he who utters it divinely keeps it. It is an appropriate promise for God to speak, and it is an appropriate promise for God’s servants to hear. You have lost many of those dear to you, but you have not lost your God. They have gone from you one by one, “as star by star grows dim”; but his light still shines on, and shall shine on for ever.

21. Further, beloved, this choice promise provides for all troubles. We do not know what troubles may happen to us; let us not think about them. They will come soon enough, and it will be quite sufficient for us to trouble ourselves about them when they do come. But whatever they may be, “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’” There may come to us great losses. Our riches may take to themselves wings, and fly away; where we had large estates, we may be without a place to lay our head; but, “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’” We may be the victims of cruel slanders, and under the pressure of those slanders those who used to respect us may avoid us, and former friends may be alienated from us; but “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’” We may have to suffer great pain, and the earthly physician may be unable to relieve us; but God’s promise will still avail for us, for “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’” Severe sinking of heart may come over us, and all God’s waves and billows may roll over us; but “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’”

22. In the course of our service for God, we may encounter many difficulties; where we looked for helpers, we may find opponents; but let us still press onward, for “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’” We may have to move to distant lands, but “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’” Days of weakness may come over us, when the pillars of the house shall tremble, when those that look out of the windows shall be darkened, and the grinders shall fail because they are few; the infirmities of old age may tell on us; but “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’” And with old age may come the loss of children and friends, until we seem left, “like the last rose of summer,” or the last sere leaf of the woods in the autumn; yet “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’” And then shall come the chill river of death, and the gathering darkness of the night; but “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’” And after that shall come another world, where our spirit shall fly through tracks unknown, and where new and wonderful scenes shall burst on our astonished view; and, in the fulness of time, Christ shall come, and the last great battle shall be fought; but whatever is to be, or is not to be, a Christian has nothing to fear, for “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’” Come out, you dragon bound with the chain, and ravage the world again if it must be so; rise, Antichrist, from your den amid the seven hills, pollute the churches once again if you can; let war and bloodshed, famine and pestilence break loose again with uncustomary fury; but whatever happens, in time or in eternity, “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’” “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth is removed, and though the mountains are carried into the midst of the sea.” If the Lord of hosts is with us, what reason can there be for fear? I know of no supposable dangers, no imaginable troubles, no conceivable difficulties, through which, and out of which, and beyond which this text will not carry us, if by faith we grasp it, “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’”

23. III. Now I must pass on to the next point. We have viewed these words as a quotation, and as a proverbial saying; now the practical outcome of this subject, according to the text, is that we are to VIEW THESE WORDS AS A MOTIVE FOR CONTENTMENT: “Let your conduct be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’” That is to say, do not be grasping, do not be seeking to rake all the world to yourself, do not stretch out your arms, like seas, to enclose all the shore.

24. “But,” one says, “I have so very little.” You have as much as God has been pleased to give you, so be content with such things as you have. “I wish I had a great deal more saved up,” says another. Do you want more than this, “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you?’” “I wish I had a large regular income,” says another. This looks pretty regular, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” Someone asks, “But does that mean temporal things?” Do you think that God will let your body die of starvation when he promises to take care of your soul? There is an ancient promise for the man who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, “Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure”; and it shall still be so; in this matter also, the Lord will not leave you, nor forsake you, if you trust in him. It seems to me that the man who can claim this promise has his fortune made for him. If he had made large investments, they might turn out badly; if he possessed large estates, they might have to be sold; if he had wealthy friends, they might all forget him, for memories are not always very strong in the direction in which some people wish they might be; while many a man has fallen from the pinnacle of personal wealth to the pit of personal poverty; and many others, who were waiting for dead men’s shoes, have had to go barefoot to their own graves. It is poor confidence that trusts in men, but it is blessed confidence that rests in this glorious truth, “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’” “Trust in the Lord, and do good: so you shall dwell in the land, and truly you shall be fed.”

25. But I know how it is with many of us, we cannot live by faith, we are so apt to think that something to see and to handle is so much more satisfactory than a promise of God. But is that not a kind of blasphemy? Is not God’s promise better, more certain, more satisfactory, more ennobling, more divine, than anything that can be seen? Oh child of God, what more do you want than this gracious assurance, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you?” Even though your wallet holds very little, if your God has said that he will fill it every morning and every evening, what more do you want? The children of Israel tried to store the manna, but it bred worms, and stank, for they were to gather their daily supply morning by morning. There is many a man who has not been content to trust in God, so he has asked for something to look at and to handle, and he has had it, and it has been a stench in his nostrils all his days, and he has never again been the man he was when he had not given way to an evil spirit of covetousness. I would rather be the poorest Christian in this world, and live on this promise, than be the richest man who lives, and not have this promise; and in saying this I am sure that I am speaking for every Christian here. Our true treasure is this, “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you’”; that is our bank stock in the Bank of Heaven; everything else that we have is only the spending-money of a traveller when he stays at an inn. But we are soon to be up and away to the land where our true treasure lies, where our God and our Father lives, who has said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

26. IV. The last point is that THESE WORDS ARE TO BE VIEWED AS A REASON FOR COURAGE: so that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.”

27. If God says to me, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you,” I never ought to be the victim of the fear of man; yet the fear of man, that brings a snare, is one of the curses of the lives of many professors. They are afraid of opposition, and afraid of persecution; and although persecution is very mild nowadays compared with what it used to be, they are afraid of the public opinion in their little circle, afraid of the contemptuous remarks that will be made, afraid of the cold shoulder, afraid of the innuendoes and the dark hints, afraid to be thought to be one of those “common people” who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and who desire to follow him “wherever he goes.” That horrible fear of losing the respect of ungodly people still operates on thousands and tens of thousands who, if they only realized the truth of this promise, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you,” would each say, “Let men think what they like of me, let them call me a fool or a fanatic, let them shun me, but what does it matter as long as you, my Lord, do not forsake me?”

28. So, my brothers and sisters in Christ, let every one of us, first of all, fling away from our souls, by the power of God’s Spirit, all desire to grasp this world, and make that our god. Let us abhor covetousness. If God sends us wealth, let us consider that we are only stewards of it, and use it for his glory. If he does not send it to us, let us be quite content to be without it, for it brings a heap of trouble with it. Let us always keep the world under our feet, and consider it to be unworthy of a Christian’s craving.

29. Then let us fling away all cowardice, and boldly say that the Lord is our Helper, so we will not fear what man may do to us. Accursed be the lips of any minister who dares to say, “I must not utter that unpopular truth for fear I should have the censure of the public press or public opinion.” Shall such fear as that ever stop us from uttering what we believe to be true? If it does, how shall we be able to turn in our account at the last great day? I consider it to be my business, as a man sent by God, never for a moment to consider how you or anyone else will like what I have to say in my Master’s name, or whether it shall be approved by this man or that, whether he is eminent in rank or eminent as a critic. Indeed, let him be whatever or whoever he may, if I have done my Master’s work faithfully, it does not matter to me whether the man praises it to the skies or condemns it to the bottomless pit. In the pulpit, it does not concern me what man’s judgment on my message shall be; and you in the pews must never hesitate to take the consequences of doing what is right. Be just in your business, no matter what may happen. Be honest in your profession, carry out your principles; and if that should involve loss, be content to lose. Whatever comes of it, be straight,—as straight as though God had ruled you with his own divine hand, and there was never a bend or crack in your character. Press onward towards the goal of sincerity and purity, and may God strengthen you to reach it! Though there are a thousand influences that might make a true man fall, and cause a brave man to turn coward, and might urge you to sell your principles, or at least to take off their sharp edges, do not do so,—do not do so,—by the love of God, do not do so! Since “He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you,’” do not leave your God, do not forsake his truth! Your forefathers died rather than give up the gospel; your ancestors fought for it on many a bloody field. We have cast away the sword of the warrior, and we have done well, for we do not fight with carnal weapons; but, by the grace of God, we grasp “the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God,” and with brave hearts and strong we stand steadfastly for the faith; and so we will stand until the truth shall win the day, and the victory shall be to the Captain of our salvation. Stand firm, brethren, in the name of God, and may the Lord bless you, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Heb 13:1-21}

This is a practical chapter at the close of this most instructive Epistle.

1. Let brotherly love continue.

The word “continue” implies that the “brotherly love” exists; there are many things which might put an end to it, so see to it that, as far as you are concerned, it continues. Under all provocations, and under all disappointments, “let brotherly love continue.”

2, 3. Do not be forgetful to entertain strangers: for by so doing some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in bonds, as bound with them; and those who suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

And being likely therefore to take your own turn of suffering, and to need the sympathy of your fellow Christians. Show sympathy to others while they need it, and they will gratefully remember you when you are in bonds or in adversity.

4. Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

And terrible will be their doom when God does judge them. They may think that, because they sin in secret, therefore they shall escape punishment; but it shall not be so. Whether men judge them or not, God will judge them.

5. Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

You have a grand reserve, therefore. What you have in possession is only a little spending-money to use on the road to heaven, but “he has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’” You may confidently fall back on the providence of God in all times of poverty and need.

6-8. So that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.” Remember those who have the rule over you, who have spoken to you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today and for ever. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 170, “The Immutability of Christ” 163} {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 848, “Jesus Christ Immutable” 839} {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2358, “The Unchangeable Christ” 2359}

It is for your own benefit to remember in your prayers those who preach the Word of God to you, for what can they do without divine assistance; and how can you be profited by them unless they are first blessed by God? Remember them, therefore.

9. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines.

Do not put yourself into every man’s hand to let him play with you as he pleases. The fish that never nibbles at the bait is not likely to be caught by the hook, and he who will not give heed to “various and strange doctrines” is not likely to be carried away in the net of heresy.

9. For it is a good thing that the heart is established with grace, not with foods, which have not profited those who have been occupied in it.

Some in the apostle’s day made religion to consist almost entirely in observing certain rules concerning what they ate and what they drank. “Do not be so foolish,” says Paul, “there is something better than that; seek to have your heart established with grace.”

10. We have an altar, of which they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle.

Those who cling to the external and ceremonial observances of religion have no right to the privileges which belong to those who come to the spiritual altar; they cannot share that secret.

11-14. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, so that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Let us go out therefore to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

Then, my brother or sister, do not look for a continuing city here. Do not build your nest on any one of the trees of earth, for they are all marked for the axe, and they will all have to come down, and your nest too, if you have built on them.

15. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2048, “A Lifelong Occupation” 2049}

If you are believers in Christ, you are God’s priests, and this is the sacrifice that you are continually to offer,—the fruit of your lips, giving thanks to God’s name.

16. But to do good and to share do not forget: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

We are to do good to others, to share our own good things with those who need them, and to do this at some sacrifice to ourselves, “for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

17-19. Obey those who have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as those who must give account, so that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly. But I rather beseech you to do this, that I may be restored to you all the sooner.

You must have noted how often the apostle asks for the prayers of those to whom he is writing, so we are following a good example when we ask you to pray for us.

20, 21. Now the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you what is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 277, “The Blood of the Everlasting Covenant” 269} {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1186, “The Blood of the Covenant” 1177} {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1368, “The God of Peace and Our Sanctification” 1359}

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

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Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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